Belarusian and Latvian Railways to outline areas of joint work in 2013

The heads of the Belarusian and Latvian Railways met in Riga to sum up the work in 2012 and discuss cooperation prospects in 2013.

The parties examined the passenger and cargo traffic from Belarus to Latvia and in the opposite direction.

One of the examples of effective cooperation on attracting additional traffic flows is the ZUBR cargo container train, a joint project of the railway administrations of Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and Ukraine. The train service has connected the ports of Latvia and Estonia and the Black Sea ports. In addition, in 2012 Moldova joined the project. As a result, in 2012 ZUBR carried more than 10,600 20ft containers, up 4 times from 2011.

Speaking of passenger traffic between Belarus and Latvia, the press service noted that it has been on the rise. Over the past year the Minsk-Minsk-Riga ridership made up almost 31,000 people, up 43% as against a year earlier.

The partied will continue working to create a more attractive environment and make the rail traffic from Belarus to Latvia more attractive. It pertains to high-speed routes Minsk-Riga-Minsk, reduction of time spent at the border stations and improvement of service quality.

Another area for bilateral cooperation is the development of the railway infrastructure to improve international traffic. The Belarusian Railways is implementing a project to develop the route Polotsk-State Border with Latvia. The project is strategically important for increasing the carrying capacity at the Belarusian-Latvian direction. Latvia took part in the construction of the second track at the Bigosovo-Indra cross-border section. The project made possible to accommodate up to 35 pairs of trains per day. Specialists are designing the fourth stage of the project which envisages the construction of the second track at the Polotsk-Ropnyanskaya section. Besides, Belarus plans to continue development of the Bigosovo railway checkpoint. The project is implemented as part of Belarus’ state program on the development of railway checkpoints at the state border for 2007-2017.

The further infrastructure development prospects of this section include preservation and enhancement of attractiveness of the Belarusian-Latvian direction for the transportation of transit goods from Russia to Kazakhstan. it is also possible through electrification of the Smolensk-Vitebsk-Polotsk-Daugavpils-Riga route. This issue is expected to be discussed at the meeting of the heads of the Belarusian and Latvian railways in Riga.

Latvian Railways is among Belarus’ most important partners in international cargo transportation. In 2012 the Belarusian Railways transported an estimated 31.7 million tonnes of various freight towards Latvia (100.9% on 2011).

Belarusian and Latvian Railways

Source : news.belta

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